Mariner 4 was the first successful Mars probe. Let's recreate it in KSP!
- Length: 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Difficulty: Moderate
- For Version: 1.0.X
Step 1: Design/Build Mariner 4
- 1x Probodobodyne OKTO (root part)
- 4x OX-4L 1x6 Photovoltaic Panels (4x symmetry, attached radially around the Probodobodyne OKTO, "Toggle Panels" linked to action group Custom 01)
- 1x GRAVMAX Negative Gravioli Detector (attached radially on the side of the Probodobodyne OKTO)
- 1x 2HOT Thermometer (attached radially on the side of the Probodobodyne OKTO)
- 1x PresMat Barometer (attached radially on the side of the Probodobodyne OKTO)
- 1x Double-C Seismic Accelerometer (attached radially on the side of the Probodobodyne OKTO)
- 1x Communotron 88-88 (attached radially on top of the Probodobodyne OKTO, "Toggle Antenna" linked to action group Custom 02)
- Launch Vehicle (3rd stage)
- 1x TR-2V Stack Decoupler
- 1x FL-A10 Adapter
- 1x AE-FF1 Airstream Protective Shell (1.25m) (make it as aerodynamic as you can, think bullet-shaped)
- 1x FL-R25 RCS Fuel Tank
- 4x RV-105 RCS Thruster Block
- 1x Mk1 Liquid Fuel Fuselage
- 1x MechJeb unit (AR202 case, emergency only, optional)
- 4x RV-105 RCS Thruster Block
- 1x LV-N "Nerv" Atomic Rocket Motor
- Launch Vehicle (2nd stage)
- Launch Vehicle (1st stage)
- Solid Fuel Boosters
Step 2 - Launch Mariner 4
Before you launch Mariner 4, go to the Tracking Station and time-warp until Kerbin and Duna are in the right phase angle for a transfer. If you don't know what the right phase angle is, go to http://ksp.olex.biz/. Now warp until day if it's night and launch Mariner 4!
Follow a standard ascent pattern into orbit. Once you're in a circular orbit 75 kilometers up, decouple the fairings and deploy the solar panels.
- Transfer Maneuver
Set up a maneuver node around the night side of Kerbin and pull it prograde until you get a Duna encounter with a periapsis below 3,000 kilometers. We can always make course corrections later. Execute the maneuver (you should be on the 3rd stage now).
Step 3 - The Interplanetary Cruise
Cruise along and make a course correction that leaves your periapsis below 100 and above 50 kilometers, and an Ike encounter with a periapsis below 15 and above 10 kilometers (you may want to use MechJeb for this maneuver). Once you've done this, decouple the 3rd stage and deploy your antenna. Switch to the 3rd stage and, using the MechJeb unit as a probe body, use the RCS to gently nudge Mariner 4 back on course (the decoupling will have knocked it off course). Then, using the RCS, gently back away and move the 3rd stage on an impact trajectory with Duna or Ike. Now you can switch back to Mariner 4.
Step 4 - Duna approach/Ike encounter
As Mariner 4 enters Duna's SOI, you may want to take/transmit scientific measurements. When Mariner 4 flies close to Ike, you definitely want to take/transmit measurements. If you want, take some screenshots (if you have Hullcam VDS, you can install a Kazzlebad on the craft before launch to get 1960's style images (black-and-white, grainy, etc.)).
Step 5 - Duna periapsis
Do the same thing you did for the Ike encounter and congratulate yourself on your succes. You can take screenshots of Duna and Ike receding in the distance as Mariner 4 flies away.
Our first mission to Duna was a huge success! The real Mariner 4 paved the way for future Mars exploration, and hopefully this Mariner 4 will do the same for Duna exploration. Next, you may want to try recreating Mariner 9.